what is 'spotter' ammo?


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Sven
April 3, 2003, 08:53 PM
I saw some .50 BMG ammo in the Georgia Arms catalog called "Spotter"... this is a separate line item from "Tracer" ammo... what is this stuff?

Thanks,

-sven

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rms/pa
April 3, 2003, 09:33 PM
to the best of my knowledge,

the 105mm and/or the 106mm recoiless rifle had a .50 cal
spotting rifle attatched in parallel. the rounds were loaded to have the same ballistics as the recoiless.as the recoiless had a HUGE backblast signature.

the .50 cal rounds were usually chalk loaded . you would fire the spotting rifle till you hit the target,fire the recoiless then unass out of dodge.

rms/pa
any errors are mine...help or corrections gladly accepted

SDC
April 3, 2003, 09:37 PM
Spotter rounds are meant to mark their impact with a bright flash and/or a puff of white smoke; some types of spotters also trace to the target. The idea behind these rounds is that you can see right away that you're on target. If I remember tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of some of the spotter cutaways I've done.

Schuey2002
April 3, 2003, 09:39 PM
To quote the Ammoman:

.50 caliber Spotter-Tracer M48A2.

Spotter guns were mounted coaxially with the 106mm recoilless rifle. The gunner fired cheap spotter tracers until he was on target, then blasted away with the 106mm main gun. As one reader pointed out, this avoided giving away the gunners position until the main payload was delivered.The spotters left a bright red trace out to the target, then exploded on contact producing a yellow flash and large puff of smoke.

http://www.ammoman.com/spotter_tracer_files/spotter.jpg

blades67
April 3, 2003, 09:49 PM
As one reader pointed out, this avoided giving away the gunners position until the main payload was delivered.

The spotters left a bright red trace out to the target...

Those two sentences contradict each other, yet they were used together anyway.:confused: :scrutiny:

Schuey2002
April 3, 2003, 09:56 PM
Here is where that quote came from.

http://www.ammoman.com/spotter_tracer.htm

:scrutiny: ... ;)

EOD Guy
April 3, 2003, 10:00 PM
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
As one reader pointed out, this avoided giving away the gunners position until the main payload was delivered.
------------------------------------------------------------------------



quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The spotters left a bright red trace out to the target...
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Those two sentences contradict each other, yet they were used together anyway.


A good recoiless rifle crew would have the HEAT round on the way to the target before the spotter round hit, just using the tracer to confirm the aim. In any case you are only talking seconds between a hit with the spotter and firing of the main gun. Crews that fired more than one or two spotters didn't survive very long.

SDC
April 4, 2003, 10:35 AM
Here's a shot of three of the spotter rounds I've sectioned; an 8mm Mauser B-Patrone (for correcting long-range MG fire; these rounds are filled with white phosphorous and an explosive charge. They DON'T trace to the target), an M48A1 Battalion Anti-Tank (BAT) round (these WILL trace to the target, and have an extra primer in the nose to ignite the spotter compound on impact), and a 50 Browning M48 Spotter (these also trace to the target, but depend on the impact between core and target to ignite the spotter compound). HTH.

Sven
April 4, 2003, 11:23 AM
Wow! How did you section those without ignition?

Thanks for the great info!

SDC
April 4, 2003, 12:34 PM
It depends on each round; I have to know what to expect inside each cartridge so I can do it properly (without blowing myself up, getting burnt, poisoned, etc.). MOST explosive compounds can be deactivated with penetrating oil, but some priming compounds are immune; to do anything with a WP filler, I have to do the section underwater, otherwise the phosphorous spontaneously ignites. I do these all with hand tools, because the heat generated with power tools/sanders can cause unpleasant reactions. BTW, I hope no-one takes any of this as a green light to start cutting open ammo; this stuff can burn, blind, maim or kill you VERY easily, and I'm very glad to still have all my fingers. I've done 2 briefcases full of sections like this, and I'm always looking for more to do; whenever I can find 2 or more examples of an interesting round, I'll section one and leave the other whole.

Joe Demko
April 4, 2003, 12:45 PM
Just out of curiosity, why are you making all these sections?

pahrumpcaveman
April 4, 2003, 12:46 PM
Hey SDC . How about showing us some more pic's with a brief description of what they are ? Good job man , those are cool !:)

SDC
April 4, 2003, 12:57 PM
:) That's exactly it; out of curiousity :) I'm a cartridge collector as well as a shooter, and I like to know how/why "neat things" work the way they do.
I'm slowly taking close-ups of each of the rounds I've sectioned, but if you've got any specific requests, let me know, and I'll post them if I've got them :) Here's a closer shot showing some of the oddball stuff I've done (flechettes, API, Taser, THV, "bean-bag", stuff like that)

Mauserlady
April 4, 2003, 01:29 PM
Attachment: cutaways2.jpg

What's the one on the bottom row, far right?

pahrumpcaveman
April 4, 2003, 01:43 PM
How about a description of what they are ? I share your curiosity for these exotic rounds like this . Where did you acquire them ? I would like some of these "neat things" . :D

Schuey2002
April 4, 2003, 01:52 PM
I'm surprised that the Canadian Government lets you own these things.. :confused:

SDC
April 4, 2003, 02:51 PM
Mauserlady, that's a 9mm THV (Tres Haute Vitesse; very high speed) from (:barf: ) France; it uses a negative ogive design, light weight, and hard material (bronze) to pierce kevlar. Here's some better shots of some in different calibres.
Schuey, since I've done these, the powers that be have decided that Canadian peons can't be trusted to own certain of these rounds, but they haven't come crashing through the door to confiscate my cartridge collection yet; they're still busy looking for a way to make everyone register their guns.

Trisha
April 4, 2003, 03:03 PM
Absolutely outstanding work, SDC!

Be safe.

Trisha

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